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The English Virginalist School usually refers to the English keyboard composers of the late Tudor and early Jacobean periods. The term virginalist does not appear to have been applied earlier than the 19th century. Although the virginals were among the most popular keyboard instruments of this period, there is no evidence that the composers wrote exclusively for this instrument, and their music is equally suited to the harpsichord, the clavichord or the chamber organ.

The term is sometimes also applied to other northern European composers of this period, such as Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and Samuel Scheidt.

English virginalists

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